The WA Supreme Court was informed that Woodside’s $16.5B Scarborough gas project was not properly evaluated by the state’s environmental watchdog.
These are the key points
- CCWA is challenging approvals given by the EPA
- The council claims that the agency didn’t conduct a proper evaluation
- The WA Supreme Court will hold the hearing for three days
Today, the court began hearing a case against the gas giant by Conservation Council of WA. This case challenges approvals given by the Environmental Protection Authority.
Maggie Wood, executive director of CCWA, stated that the council didn’t believe the project was properly assessed outside court.
“Woodside’s Scarborough proposal is the most polluting and fossil fuel-dependent project in Australia right now,” she stated.
“All that we are asking for is for the Supreme Court to allow this project be assessed under the same environmental rules as any other project in Western Australia.”
Woodside made the final investment decision in November to move forward with the $16.5 million project.
According to the CCWA, Scarborough would produce 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years.
According to the council, approvals of the EPA could be modified to allow additional gas from third parties to be processed.
The councils stated that this was done at Woodside’s request without further environmental evaluation.
Henry Jackson SC, acting for the CCWA, told the court that the new proposal had a negative effect on the environment and needed to be evaluated by the EPA.
Woodside thought there would be a small impact, Mr Jackson stated, and EPA Services agreed.
He stated to the court that the EPA chair needed to “engage in his intellectual process” and evaluate the proposed changes.
Justice Jeremy Allanson raised several points during Mr Jackson’s speech. He stated that the legislation did no say “he must” do so.
He also stated that they could always have a “storeof accumulated knowledge”.
Justice Allanson stated to the court that it was possible that these changes were not making a significant difference.
The hearing will be held for three days.